Firms moving goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland continue to seek clarity on the practical workings of the Windsor Framework.
New processes designed to manage post-Brexit trade between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK are set to be implemented on 30 September.
Operators are still unclear how the customs red and green lanes will work in many scenarios, including ‘groupage’ – lorries with products from a multiple suppliers and/or for a number of destinations.
The RHA has facilitated communication between members and government agencies where first hand concerns have been raised – with some addressed.
However, there are still areas where greater clarity is needed – the RHA and its members are committed to working with government on solutions to support and maintain the Northern Ireland supply chain:
Labelling of goods – processes for movements of Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) products such as animal and plant-based goods remain unclear. This includes health certificates.
Possible exemptions for firms guaranteeing they won’t sell domestic market products into the EU – in this case goods destined for Northern Ireland won’t be sold into the Republic of Ireland, or elsewhere in the EU.
Firms with a minimum £2m turnover – clarity that they’ll be able to use the green lane for goods ‘not at risk’.
Groupage – set up a working group with members and officials to promote better understanding of how freight moves to help improve the implementation and operation of the scheme.
John Martin, RHA Northern Ireland Policy Lead said that businesses need guidance on how new processes are going to work amid industry concerns that a lack of clarity will cause delays and make Northern Ireland’s economy less competitive.
“We need to do everything we can to keep the supply chain resilient to protect trade in Northern Ireland.
“Our members are understandably concerned about the day-to-day workings of the Framework with a few weeks to go. For example, if a pallet on a truck has goods going on to the Republic of Ireland then the entire load which is primarily destined for Northern Ireland will be processed through the ‘Red Lane’ which adds bureaucracy and cost.
“We continue to work closely with the Cabinet Office, HMRC, DEFRA and the Northern Ireland Office on finding solutions to the Framework’s practical complexities to protect and nurture our supply chains.”
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